Technology firm IBM and Singapore startup company FreshTurf Monday announced a partnership, that will see that latter use Big Blue’s Cloud and Blockchain technologies for creating a network of storage lockers for shipping and parcel delivery throughout the city-state.
“This locker ledger network is designed to help improve the “last mile” of delivery services for consumers and businesses, or the final leg of a package’s journey to a customer’s home,” IBM said in a statement today.
FreshTurf, a startup in Singapore works with IBM Bluemix Garage— a hub where developers, product managers and designers can come together to build on Bluemix. Singapore Bluemix Garage is one of the latest in IBM’s global network, which also includes locations such as San Francisco, London, Toronto, Nice and Tokyo.
FreshTurf intends to use the IBM Blockchain service on Bluemix for tracking the shipment of goods.
Blockchain is a technology for a new generation of transactions which establish accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes. Built on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, IBM and FreshTurf intend to build a distributed ledger platform prototype specifically designed to manage commercial transactions between merchants, logistic vendors, locker companies and consumers, the statement said.
The application of blockchain technology can help provide visibility across the fulfillment chain, allowing users to track their parcel and delivery status from the convenience of their phone, it can help stakeholders to conduct shipping transactions in a highly secure and trusted environment.
The idea for the startup came about when founders, Kevin Lim and Jarryl Hong, were discussing the inconvenience of online shopping delivery in Singapore. In most cases, parcel deliveries only take place during office hours and in cases where no one is home, delivery can be insecure and the process of claiming parcels can be tedious.
To help solve this void in the market, FreshTurf turned to the IBM Bluemix Garage for a Design Thinking workshop, immersing the company in a unique, user-centric approach to design which helped them to rapidly identify and build a product best suited for their target base.
“As a startup, we wanted a partner and mentor who would guide us through the journey of adopting blockchain and building with cloud, while also helping us to grow,” said FreshTurf co-founder Jarryl Hong.
Blockchain is one of the advanced services available to developers on Bluemix, on which more than 120,000 apps are launched every month. Bluemix has rapidly grown to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world.